Film Submissions Open March 1, 2021!$20,000 in prize money Early Deadline May 15, Final Deadline July 15, Notifications August 1 Film Freeway Listing
Films Connected to Southwestern Ontario
We are looking for films that have at least one member of the key artistic team that has spent a significant time in the area, or films that were filmed in or are about the region. The key artistic team includes director, writer, producer, DOP, sound design and actors. Subject matter or setting of the film is not restricted to the region.
Submissions for Films, Screenplays, Music Videos and More, opening March 1, 2021
Over $20,000 in prizesSubmission Information
JOHN KAPELOS - Actor/writer/producer
In the three decades since John Kapelos co-starred in the pop-cultural phenomenon: THE BREAKFAST CLUB he has consistently proven himself as one of the most versatile and popular actors of his generation, heralded for his work in both comedy and drama on the big and small screens.
John co-starred in several of John Hughes’ generation-defining Brat Pack films, notably THE BREAKFAST CLUB (as Carl the Janitor), 16 CANDLES and WEIRD SCIENCE. John Hughes discovered John while Kapelos was a member of the resident company at Chicago’s legendary SECOND CITY. He spent 8 years with Second City, both on their Chicago main stage, in their National Touring Company and in ORWELL THAT ENDS WELL, their triumphant 1984 off-Broadway return at the celebrated Village Gate in Manhattan.
Since that time John has made his mark in more than 70 features films including LEGALLY BLONDE, ROXANNE, THE SHAPE OF WATER. John loves independent film and has worked on over 250 film and television projects in his career as actor, writer, and producer. He is a London Ontario native and a big supporter of the film industry in this region.
MARIA ALEXOPOULOS- Producer/Director
Maria launched the video division for social media giant Diply, where she was the Director of Video for over four years. Her time there oversaw the creation of online channels; Crafty, Delicious and Flawless, having collectively garnered over 16 million followers and 500 million video views. Prior to her time at Diply she directed the feature documentary, Nepal In the Mountains Shadow, which premiered and won best international documentary at the Swansea Bay International Film Festival, she then went onto to produce independent feature films Liminality and Backtrack. Currently, she is the Director of Video for Hive Media Group, producing the original web series Dad’s in Parks, among others. .
KELLY PAYNE -Director Business Affairs, Production Funding Blue Ant Studios
Kelly Payne has over two decades of experience in the Film and Television industry. As Director, Business Affairs, Production Funding at Blue Ant Media she leads the Canadian and American production and development teams in the strategic approach to project financing, including facilitation of applications, negotiations and deal structure for Film and Television content developed and produced in Canada and the USA. Prior to joining Blue Ant Kelly spent 10 years at Ontario Creates in a variety of capacities. At Ontario Creates Kelly contributed to agency policies and strategies, driving innovation and growth in Ontario’s creative industries. Her portfolio contained a wide range of programs and initiatives including Tax credits, the Feature Film Fund, Industry Development initiatives, Export, Marketing and Distribution programs. Ms. Payne has also held management roles in programming, production, and business/legal affairs with Bell Media (CTV) and Rogers Broadcasting Limited (RBL), sits on the Board of Directors for Spacefy, a marketplace for inspiring short-term space rentals centered around the creative industry and is a founding member of the Halton Hills Arts and Culture Working group.
NATHALIE BIBEAU- Award Winning Documentary Filmmaker
Raised in the rust belt, Nathalie Bibeau is an award-winning filmmaker who began her career at the CBC documentary unit, honing her craft on a wide spectrum of story-telling genres. Now independent, Nathalie released her first feature film in 2020. A nuanced, character-driven story and legal drama, The Walrus and the Whistleblower won the top Audience Award at the Hot Docs International Film Festival and the Best Documentary Feature Award at the Forest City Film Festival. Her film travelled to over twenty festivals worldwide, was nominated for three Canadian Screen Awards and qualified for the Oscars. Currently, she is in production as the Series Director for a 4-part Amazon Original series and an episode of CBC’s The Nature of Things.
In other lives, Nathalie has written for various media outlets, volunteered for War Child in Ethiopia and worked for the Department of Foreign Affairs in Lithuania. She holds a B.A. in History from McGill University and an M.A. in Russian History from the University of Toronto. She is a mother of two and is fluent in French, English and Swedish.
ALEX ROGALSKI - Film Festival Programmer
Alex has been a professional film programmer for more than a decade focusing on documentary and Canadian cinema for festivals across the country including TIFF, Hot Docs, Calgary International Film Festival, Victoria Film Festival, Gimme Some Truth, and others. He is the founder of the One Take Super 8 Event. This event started in Regina in 2000 and has spread across North America, helping to create more than 1000 independent films.
In addition to his film curation, Alex is currently a program consultant with the Saskatchewan Arts Board and was previously the Executive Director of PAVED Arts in Saskatoon. He holds a Masters in Communication and Culture from York and Ryerson Universities and a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Film from the University of Regina and has written for publications including POV magazine.
Kris Pearn is a Writer/ Director/ Storyboard artist who’s credits include Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs one and two, Star Wars: Solo, Open Season, Arthur Christmas, Pirates- Band of Misfits, Shawn the Sheep, Surf’s Up, and Home to name a few. Currently he’s writing and directing the upcoming Netflix film “The Willoughbys”, based on the book by Lois Lowry, starring Ricky Gervais and Martin Short.
NEIL HAVERTY - Senior Manager, MVP Project
As Senior Manager, MVP Project / Prism Prize at the Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television, Neil Haverty oversees multiple initiatives that aim to spotlight artistry in the Canadian music video industry. The Prism Prize was established in 2012 to recognize extraordinary achievement within the field. The MVP Project, a joint initiative with RBCxMusic, was recently launched to assist in the creation of new music video work by way of production grants for emerging artist teams (comprised of recording artists, directors and producers). Haverty also works as a film composer and musician, most notably as a founding member of Toronto-based ensemble Bruce Peninsula.
KAT WEBBER - Editor/director
Kat Webber is fascinated by all things storytelling. With attention to detail and extensive understanding of multiple genres, she brings a deliberate eye to her work as both an Editor and Director. Kat received a BFA in Acting from the conservatory program at York University in Toronto, which provided her with a unique appreciation for the actor’s process. After graduating, Kat stepped behind the camera to develop her technical skills. After years of editing international broadcast campaigns, feature films and award-winning music videos, she’s studied the storytelling process from the inside-out. Kat has had the honour of working as a close collaborator with visionary director Karena Evans, who catapulted her onto the international scene after editing pieces like Drake’s “Nice for What” and Coldplay’s “Everyday Life.” Recently Kat worked as an additional editor for multiple episodes of the new STARZ series, P-Valley. Kat’s mission is centred around amplifying the female gaze, whether that be in service as an editor, director or mentor to young femme-identifying creatives. Each decision she makes, from pre-production to post, comes down to two questions: why now & what serves the story?
KIM WHEELER - Host, writer, producer
Kim Wheeler has brought positive Indigenous stories to mainstream and Indigenous media since 1993. She has carved out a career as a writer, publicist and producer across a variety of disciplines. Her audio work has been recognized by the New York Festivals, ImagineNative, Indigenous Music Awards and Prix Italia. Currently, Kim works from her treehouse media office with multiple clients in publicity, magazines, film and podcasts. She also hosts The Kim Wheeler Show on SiriusXM’s The Indigiverse, channel 165.